A Trio of Somerset Food Festivals
PUBLISHED: 17:13 17 September 2007 | UPDATED: 14:51 20 February 2013
Somerset will be celebrating its excellent local food and drink this October with a series of three food festivals around the county. Somerset's food festival fun starts on 29 September with the South Somerset Food Festival, which runs for nine da...
South Somerset Food Festival
29 September - 7 October
Spread over nine days, the third South Somerset Food Festival will include more than 50 tasty events, each celebrating the excellent quality of locally produced food and drink.
Food author Henrietta Green will be opening the launch event at Montacute House, near Yeovil, where the Levels' Best Market Place, taking place in Montacute House's Old Stables, will celebrate the excellent variety of quality food and drink produced within the Somerset Levels and Moors.
The festival will champion a range of tasty foods, from Somerset-produced organic vegetables to traditional ice creams, and from countryside breakfasts to Langport's finest seafood. Events will range from food tastings and cookery demonstrations to farm and vineyard tours, talks and foodie competitions, while special menus will be served at local pubs, restaurants and hotels.
Among the events planned is a free afternoon orchard walk and tasting by the Somerset Cider Brandy Company on 29 September and 6 October, when walkers will get a taste of the countryside as well as the local ciders produced there. There's also the chance to visit the Orchard Old Spots at Huish Episcopi any time between 1-6 October to meet the free-range pigs and sample their traditional, award-winning pork products.
A food fair at East Lambrook Manor Gardens on 30 September will allow visitors free entry to the gardens and offer the chance to taste and buy Westcountry foods.
Visit www.southsomersetfoodfestival.com for more information or pick up a programme from Yeovil Tourist Information Centre, tel 01935 845946.
Exmoor Food Festival
Visitors to Exmoor this October will be able to experience a taste of the very best in local produce from this scenic part of the Westcountry at the Exmoor Food Festival.
A series of around 50 food-linked events will take place in the beautiful landscape of the National Park, which encompasses coast and countryside in West Somerset and North Devon. The organisers have designed the festival programme to give visitors the chance to enjoy this wonderful landscape, taste the delicious produce that comes from the area and meet some of the people who are so passionate about making it.
The programme also includes opportunities to make different kinds of bread from around the world under the tutorage of an expert baker, or perhaps have a go at making Indian dishes with the very best local produce. If you fancy something more restful you could enjoy dinner at one of the area's best restaurants, Andrew's on the Weir near Porlock, where evenings will be themed around either locally caught fish and seafood or mushrooms gathered from the woods surrounding the restaurant.
Visitors could also go to the Exmoor Horn Sheep Day at the Culbone Inn to enjoy a meal celebrating this local breed and enjoy some traditional Exmoor Folk music. Or perhaps if you fancy getting out into the hills and valleys you could go on an Exmoor Safari in a Land Rover, where the expert guide gets you really close to the red deer before returning for a lovely lunch or afternoon tea in Porlock. The grand finale will be a 'meet the producer' Food Fair at Porlock Village Hall on 14 October, where there will be a chance to taste a vast variety of produce.
For further details and a programme call 01458 241401 or visit www.exmoorfoodfestival.co.uk.
Mendip Food and Drink Festival
Events for the fourth Mendip Food and Drink Festival are well in hand, with a safari supper in Frome on 19 October kicking off the fortnight. After the great success of last year's safari supper, the organisers have included a second evening in Wells on 26 October. Safari suppers are great fun and will take in three different venues for each dinner course.
Farrington's Farm Shop at Farrington Gurney will again be holding a series of fun events as well as encouraging visitors to buy locally from the wealth of excellent local produce. Expect to see the return of the 'Gert Posh Tea' and a Kids' Day with trailer rides and painting competition, tastings and the 'organic experience' as well as a business breakfast at which Michael Eavis will be the guest speaker.
Jon Thorner's farm shop in Pylle is arranging a series of fantastic tastings as well as a sausage-making demonstration, and Gaymers Cider in Shepton Mallet is offering visitors a tour of their premises just as the apples are being pressed - a must for anyone who has never seen this happen. The George in Croscombe has something for everyone, ranging from a beer festival to food quizzes, chocolate and curry nights.
There are also plans for a 'Food Crawl' in Shepton Mallet, wine tastings at Ston Easton Hotel and interesting food at the Glastonbury Abbey kitchen. To end the festival there will be a giant Farmers' Market at the Cheese and Grain Store in Frome on 27 October where there will be cookery demonstrations and fabulous food to taste and buy.
For further information call 0870 389 3210 or visit www.mendipfoodfestival.co.uk.
As we celebrate at food festivals around the county, do you have a recipe using Somerset produce that you would like to share on the Forum;